Knesset's c'tee: MKs can't 'divide' staff member position

By REBECCA ANNA STOIL
March 15, 2010 17:29
1 minute read.

 
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Parliamentary aides won a victory over some MKs Monday, when the Knesset's House Committee ruled that MKs are not allowed to "divide" one of the two staff member positions to which they are entitled.

In recent years, some MKs who wanted a larger staff would "divide" one of the two positions, enabling three staffers to work for them with two employed at a part-time basis.

But staffers complained that even "part-time" parliamentary aides are frequently expected to be available 24 hours a day, in exchange for a monthly salary of NIS 3500, less than the minimum wage for a full-time employee.

During a particularly stormy session, which was attended by over one-third of all of the MKs in the Knesset, the House committee voted to forbid the division of positions, arguing that it violated the ethos of labor laws.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin appeared before the committee to advocate that MKs follow more closely the recommendations of the Grunau Committee, which restricted MKs to two parliamentary aides.

Ultimately, the committee voted against permitting the split by a vote of 10-7 that pitted members of Kadima, Likud and Shas against MKs from their own factions.

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